Wasing park National MTB XC R2 01/05/2017 - By Sulli Berry
When I went to The HSBC UK National Series event at Wasing park I wasn't as nervous as at pembrey because it was my second event however I was still really nervous. I had never been to Wasing park before and we went the wrong way and went up a church driveway by accident. When we did get there a couple of my friends were just about to go on a practice lap and they said they would wait until I had got changed and got my bike ready. It helps to have some company and people to chat to about the course.
When we did go round we had a look at the first A line and concluded that we would try it on the next lap when we got to the second A line we tried it and it seemed ok so we all did it fine. The next A line was a massive unrollable drop which led on to a massive near vertical downhill. You won't get those in the midland league and it was one of the biggest drops I'd seen. The B line was almost as bad as the A line and would definitely class as an A line in the midlands league despite this my friends and I did it first time. I heard later that the person who came second in my race at pembrey did the C line first time. After this B line none of the rest of the A lines didn't seem as bad.
The next 2 A lines were really easy one was just 2 steps the next one was easier than some of the stuff you have to ride anyway.
When it came to the actual Race I had a reasonably good start however the course didn't suit me as there were lots of long and draggy hills. I really enjoyed this experience and I found it really satisfactory to ride the A lines when you've been looking up to older riders who have been riding the A lines. I learnt that I can do some of the A lines and that the easier the A line the longer the B line. My aim for the season is to ride all the A Lines and develop my technical skills.
HSBC national XC race 2 01/05/2017
After a nasty fall on my second practice lap practising the first A line I was left able to do the three out of five A lines. After crashing I know why I went wrong and how to improve from my mistake and have been practising smaller, less severe versions since. I managed to gain more confidence on the weekend by practising a drop B line which helped grow my confidence as well as the idea that I had the ability to do some A lines I didn't know I could do before.
Not liking the start as it was on long grass I practiced it a lot however in the race I believe that I could probably have gotten a better start in my fourth rather than third gear. I kept with the main front group until the first A line where I fell of so I did the B line and a gap began to form with me and the front group. I was still slightly nervous about doing the drop B line but did it both laps in the race. After being dropped by the front group I tried to catch up wih the rider in front of me but unfortunately she was more agile. I managed to stay 5th for the whole race however next time I'm aiming to come fourth.
Overall I am happy with my position and glad I went. I will practice the skill I have learned this race so that I'm the future I can improve my overall skills and my racing position.